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THE NOONER for August 15, 2012

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DEADLINE: In five hours, it is the deadline to file for local offices in which no incumbent is running.


It only took a day for the Assembly GOP to grant the scarlet letter T to Brian Nestande, who joined with independent Nathan Fletcher Monday to support Speaker John Perez's tax hike on out-of-state businesses to fund middle-class scholarships. Nestande stepped down as Repubican Caucus Chair, the number two post of the minority party in the lower house. 

Nestande's district is safe, although the vote is likely a popular one in one of the economically hardest hit areas of California. The I-10 corridor was home to some of the fastest growth before the housing bust, and some of the greatest pain following it. Nestande, who's father was an Assembly Republican of the Ken Maddy school of moderates, has often been seen as one of the more moderate members of the caucus, although this was his coming out party.

The question obviously is whether Perez would have similarly ousted a member of his leadership for not voting for the bill, and the answer is that it's likely. The Assembly has a tradition of using leadership posts and physical office space to discipline members, although the Speaker's office isn't as strong as it was before term limits. In contrast, in the Senate, members are given longer leashes, evident by the fact that Mark DeSaulnier is still chair of Senate Transportation after voting against the number one transportation priority of the governor, Pro Tem and labor (high speed rail). 

That said, Democrats can oust rogue board members to limited consequence. Republicans need to be concerned that, like Nathan Fletcher, they aren't pushing more mods to leave the party, like so many voters have.


Join your colleagues from around the state for a day of in-depth discussion on current and future issues facing public retirement in California at the 22nd Annual Northern California Public Retirement Seminar.

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 - 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM; CalPERS Auditorium

Registration Fee: $190

Register online or contact us directly


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WELCOME: A couple hundred subscribers joined the Nooner yesterday, mostly users of my free bill tracking service. I encourage you all to fill out the super-simple Nooner survey so I can tailor my daily rants to your wants. When I started this as a rant to a few friends, I never imagined nearly 6,000 folks would want to read my pre-dawn words daily.

RALLY IN THE VALLEY: There is a debate tonight between Howard Berman and Brad Sherman.

THE OTHER CAPITOL: Congressman Dennis Cardoza announced his resignation yesterday effective at midnight tonight, citing "increasing parenting challenges." A few hours after that press release, another came out saying that he was joining the D.C. office of law and lobbying behemoth Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. (He is not a lawyer.) Cardoza decided against reelection after he found himself redrawn in the same district as fellow Central Valley congressmen Jim Costa and Jeff Denham. Denham ran to the north, Costa ran to the south, and Cardoza ran to the exit.

Why resign now? If, as expected, there is a lame-duck session over sequestration and tax hikes that will happen December 31 absent congressional action, there will be a lobbying storm like no other.

CD15: Former Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata endorsed Eric Swalwell against Congressman Pete Stark.

DEAD: SB 249 (Yee): Assault Weapons, which is the most followed bill on Around The Capitol, is being held by Assembly Appropriations, killing the bill for the year. 

POSSESSION IS 9/10ths OF THE LAW: Cities refuse to hand over redevelopment money [Chris Megarian @ LAT]

FLAUNT IT IF YOU'VE GOT IT: Molly Munger adds $5 million to her Prop. 38 warchest. That brings her total to $23,228,399.

TURNOUT: Why Democrats need to be scared and Republicans can be hopeful.

#YOLO: As Twitter is taken over by the #YOLO hashtag (You Only Live Once), those of us in Yolo County are responding.

BRAG: I try to seperate my "fun time" as author of The Nooner and CEO of the Community College League, but you just can't not smile at the story of Mars Curiosity landing director Adam Steltzner (aka "Elvis Hair Guy"). Adam, like me, "stopped going to high school" and found his way through community college. Oh, yeah, then he got a Ph.D. in physics and works at JPL. [Adam and Mohawk guy on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me]

EYE CANDY: The 30 Best GIFs of the Olympics [Buzzfeed]

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Betsy Butler is leaving AD66, and is running in AD50, the seat currently held by Julia Brownley. She will be succeeded by a man, either Craig Huey or Al Muratsuchi, in AD66.

P.S.: Thank you to The Nooner advertisers! I am sold out through September 7. Reserve your campaign season ads now!

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Jerry Brown Continues Furlough Lawsuit Fight With California Engineers, Scientists
Jon Ortiz @
Well, it's not over yet.

Biotech Food Measure Prop. 37 On Ballot
Stacy Finz @
The controversy over genetically engineered food has moved up the chain, all the way to the ballot box.

Community Colleges Across California Face Accreditation Sanctions
Laurel Rosenhall @
Community colleges throughout California are facing sanctions from the agency that accredits colleges in the West, largely a result of the state cutting funding for several years as the federal government has stepped up performance standards.

Brian Nestande Steps Down As GOP Caucus Chair After Tax Vote
Jim Sanders @
Assemblyman Brian Nestande stepped down as Assembly Republican Caucus chairman today after voting to support controversial legislation to raise taxes on some out-of-state corporations.

Number Of University Of California Workers Earning $1 Million Quadruples In Five Years - Data Center - The Sacramento Bee
Amid budget cuts and rising tuition, 22 University of California employees earned more than $1 million last year, up from six earning that much in 2007.

A Closer Look At Paul Ryan's Federal Budget Plan
David Lauter and Lisa Mascaro, Washington Bureau @
Rep. Paul D. Ryan, the presumed Republican vice presidential nominee, would reshape U.S. government with his budget plan.

GOP lawmaker resigns chairmanship after tax vote
HANNAH DREIER, Associated Press @
Assemblyman Brian Nestande has resigned as chairman of the Assembly Republican caucus a day after providing the lone GOP vote on a bill that would close a tax loophole benefiting out-of-state corporations.

State Lawyers Told Of Hidden Funds
A former California state parks employee says she told state attorneys that her department was hiding about $20 million in a special fund several months before officials announced discovering the surplus money, according to a sworn declaration filed in court Tuesday.

Gov. Jerry Brown Weighs Protections For California Sports Fans
Gov. Jerry Brown is weighing a proposal to better protect sports fans from violence at California's professional football stadiums, hockey arenas and baseball parks.

GOP Makes California Dark Target
Dan Walters @
Republican polemicists once used the phrase "San Francisco Democrat" to demonize Democratic rivals – an allusion to the city's singular ideological proclivities. This year, however, the whole state is becoming Republicans' dark symbol of where the country is headed should Barack Obama return to the White House.

Dem Biggie Don Perata Latest To Endorse Eric Swalwell Over 20-term Rep. Pete Stark
Carla Marinucci @
Don Perata, the former President Pro Tem of the California State Senate — and a Democratic mover in the Bay Area — has endorsed Democratic Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell over 20-term Rep. Pete Stark in the contentious East Bay 15th Congressional District race.

Lee Unsure Of Votes On Sheriff
John Coté, Neal J. Riley @
Trying to oust elected Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is perhaps the most controversial move of Mayor Ed Lee's fledgling political career, but Lee maintained Tuesday that he had not done the math on whether the votes are there to remove Mirkarimi for official misconduct.

Home Prices Rising In Sacramento Region - Real Estate - The Sacramento Bee
Figures released today by real estate information service Dataquick show signs of a strengthening home market across the Sacramento region, driven by investors snapping up rental properties and competition for the ultra-low inventory of resale homes.

Can Romney Deflect The Democrats’ Attacks?
“Defining moment” is an overused phrase in politics, but not this week. Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate has all the appearances of making these weeks another potential pivot point in the 2012 campaign.

Union City mayoral candidate running unopposed, two others vying for council seat
Chris De Benedetti, @
The lone City Council race is pitting Jim Navarro, an incumbent councilman running for reelection, against Jose Estrella, a longtime Union City resident who works as a tax preparer.

Missteps undercut Brown’s tax pitch
Gov. Jerry Brown’s already daunting task to convince voters they should approve a $6 billion tax increase on the November ballot has grown even more imposing with a string of money missteps.

Paul Ryan's Budget Proposal Would Spread Pain Widely
Michael Hiltzik @
Paul Ryan's budget proposal would deliver a handsome tax cut to the richest Americans while eviscerating the programs and services the rest of the country depends on.

The Caucus: New Ad Attacks Obama on Medicare
Mitt Romney's campaign is embracing a potentially explosive debate over the future of Medicare with a new television ad that accuses President Obama of cutting $700 billion from the health care program for the elderly.

The $5 Trillion Hole In Paul Ryan's Budget
David Lauter @
Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan includes a massive "magic asterisk," which policymakers often use to make recalcitrant numbers come out as desired.

Judge won't halt Pa. voter ID law
Associated Press @
Democrats say the law will make it harder for the elderly, minorities, poor and young adults to vote.

Biden's 'chains,' Romney's welfare sloths add race to campaign
James Rainey @
Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that Mitt Romney’s tax policy would put "y'all back in chains," and Campaign 2012 spun off into the outrage zone once again. It's pointless to deny that the Democrats' freewheeling No. 2, regardless of how he intended it, invoked a bit of class and race fidelity to the Democratic ticket in his speech before a mixed-race crowd in Danville, Va.